THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
succeed could have helped him he would soon have possessed the rosy mole. But, alas! all that he caught were black and ordinary, though strange to say he never grew impatient, but always'seemed ready to begin the tedious hunt again.
But this changing of character is one of the most ordinary miracles which love works. Neither the prince nor the princess gave a thought to anything but theii quest. It never even occurred to them to wonder what country they had reached. So you may guess how astonished they were one day when, having at last been successful after their long and weary chase, they cried aloud at the same instant, "At last I have saved my beloved," and then recognizing each other's voice looked up and rushed to meet one another with the wildest joy.
Surprise kept them silent while for one delicious moment they gazed into each other's eyes, and just then who should come up but King Gridelin, for it was into his kingdom they had accidentally strayed. He recognized them in his turn and greeted them joyfully, but when they turned afterward to look for the rosy mole, the chaffinch, and the trotting mouse, they had vanished, and in their places stood a lovely lady whom they did not know, the blackbird, and the green giant. King Gridelin had no sooner set eyes upon the lady than with a cry of joy he clasped her in his arms, for it was no other than his long-lost wife, Santorina, about whose imprisonment in Fairyland you may perhaps read some day.
Then the blackbird and the green giant resumed their natural form, for they were enchanters, and up flew Lolotte and Mirlifiche in their chariots, and then there was a great kissing and congratulating, for everybody had regained some one he loved, including the enchanters, who loved their natural forms dearly. After this they repaired to the palace, and the wedding of Prince Vivien and Princess Placida was held at once with all the splendor imaginable. King Gridelin and Queen Santorina, after all their experiences, had no further desire to reign, so they retired happily to a peaceful place, leaving their kingdom to the prince and princess, who were beloved bv all their subjects and found their greatest happiness all their lives long in making other people happy.*
* " Nonchalante et Papillon."